By Christopher Johnson

The Pecatonica Lady Indians have captured the Class 1A Regional Title and they did it by knocking out a longtime rival while playing on the road, carrying the number one designation.

On Thursday, Feb. 17, Pecatonica outpaced Polo in the final match of the 1A Tournament in Indian Creek and it was due to a strong offensive effort, well-shared by the victors.

Elaina Rager scored 20 points in the Regional Championship and received strong support from teammate Lauren Mellentine who closed the night with 14. The Lady Indians captured the crown with the 50-40 decision.

Pecatonica moved into the Class 1A Sectional Semi-final where they faced the Stockton Lady Blackhawks on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

The Lady Indians were favored to win the opening round match of the Forreston Sectional Tournament over Stockton, based on pre-tournament seeding.

Unfortunately, details of the semi-final match are unavailable in this week’s edition of the Gazette Newspaper.

Stockton was issued the six-seed and had to pull off upset-after-upset to get its shot at the Forreston Sectional’s top team.

The Lady Blackhawks entered the Tuesday night match sporting a 17-8 record and closed the regular season in third place in the Northwest Upstate Illini West Conference.

Galena won the West with a perfect 10-0 mark paired with a 28-3 mark that they carried into Sectional play this week.

River Ridge/Scales Mound was second with an 8-2 record and carried a 25-4 season mark into Regional Semi-final play, where they were dispatched by five-seed Lena-Winslow.

A round later, Lena-Winslow dropped out of the post-season after Pecatonica’s Tuesday night opponent sent them home following a 45-50 decision.

If Pecatonica defeats Stockton on Tuesday night they will face either top seed and NUIC-West Champion Galena, or two-seed Freeport Aquin in the Forreston Sectional Championship on Thursday, Feb. 24. Tip-off has been scheduled for 7pm.

Statistics seem to favor a showdown between the southern branch’s top team Galena and the northern representative Pecatonica in the Thursday match-up.

Rankings at the start of the post-season featured the Lady Pirates sitting in the fifth position with its 28-3 mark.

Freeport Aquin, which was favored to run through the gamete at home during the 1A Sectional qualifying round, could provide a bit of a struggle for the Section’s highest ranked team.

The Lady Pirates averaged over 50 points a game during the regular season and allowed barely half that at just over 25.

If Freeport Aquin pulls off the upset and gets the right to play against (probable) opponent Pecatonica, it will mean it’s because it’s conference carrying 34 points allowed efforts carried the victory.

The winner from the Forreston Sectional will be joining up with the winner from the Chicago Orr Sectional, in which the top 20 ranked Lady Spartans have the inside track.

Pecatonica opened the week of games with a 20-8 record and the second Regional Title in school history.

Congratulations are warmly given from all of us at The Gazette newspaper on your achievement, Pecatonica!

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